Some things just go together: Wine and cheese, Wine and pizza… You get the picture. One pair that isn’t commonly associated is dogs and home repair. Probably with good reason, too. The last time I tried to do a home improvement project with Tucker in the house, I came home to a cordless sander. Mind you, this sander had a cord. Tucker just decided to chew through it while it was still plugged into the wall.
I learned two very important lessons that day. One, my dog really doesn’t like it when I leave the house. Two, Tucker was trying to tell me he wanted something built for him too. Okay, the second one is more of an assumption, but still. It only made sense with National Dog Day approaching. So, with that in mind, I thought I’d come up with a few ways you can improve your home and make your pup more comfortable!
Here are some home improvement projects that have worked to keep my dog comfortable, from the time he was a puppy and into his teens (in human years!).
Dog trainers will agree that kennel training is the best way to housetrain your new puppy. Used as a training method when they are young, as they grow it can be a safe place for your dog to sleep or stay when guests are visiting. Don’t let your dog embarrass you or your guests on National Dog Day this year. Adding a built-in dog kennel to your home is limited only by your space available.
Many new home builders are adding a kennel in the space beneath the stairs, and others are incorporating one into their mudrooms and laundry rooms. When considering a built-in kennel, keep in mind how large your dog will be when full-grown. For smaller dogs, a kennel under a cabinet in the kitchen may work, or one designed to double as an end table.
You want your dog to smell their best for National Dog Day. But giving your puppy a bath was easier when they were small enough to fit in a sink or bathtub. Now they weigh 50+ pounds, and that can be a little difficult!
A built-in dog wash in a laundry or mud room is something you will certainly appreciate. It doesn’t have to be more than a tiled area that will drain, and a shower head on a hose; but you’ll be able to easily wash your large dog without any strain on your back. Not only that, but it will come in handy for hosing down sandy and muddy two-legged kids as well!
Whether you are a new dog owner or someone who has had several dogs throughout your life, there are always those “lessons learned” that you want to remember for the next puppy. One of those comes from learning the hard way how difficult it is to clean wall-to-wall carpet of both stains and odors. That’s not to say you can’t have carpet, but you might want to make sure that, in those early potty-training days, you keep your puppy’s kennel in a room with no carpet, and maybe just a washable rug.
Tile can be slick to a puppy’s nails, especially when they’re playing and running around. It can cause your puppy to slip and possibly slide into furniture that could injure a developing puppy’s bones. Wood flooring can sometimes be scratched by claws, so be sure to keep your puppy’s nails neatly trimmed. Both of these are still good choices for a puppy in training because they clean easily.
Dining in for National Dog Day instead of eating out? Adding a feeding station for your dog to your kitchen can also come in handy. This is especially true if you will be taking a sloshing bowl of water back and forth across carpet from the sink. Leaving an open space underneath the counter to place food and water bowls is convenient for you, and easier to clean up.
There are different schools of thought on whether or not a raised dog and water bowl are beneficial to larger dogs. Ultimately, the choice should be made on what is most comfortable for your dog.
The Terrible Twos
Depending on the breed of dog you choose, and even with mixed breeds, there is a “teething” stage. Typically it can last from when you bring your new BFF home at eight weeks until they’re five-years-old. Until you’re positive they will no longer chew on items you had hoped to pass down to your grandchildren; it’s best to keep some things out of their reach, or protected, to keep your pet safe.
You’ve loved your black fabric sofa for years because of how classy it looked with your black and white décor. Then you got a white dog. That sheds. Suddenly, your sofa looks gray and dingy all time. Even though it’s just as comfortable as it was before, you just aren’t as happy with it. Or, you’ve loved the clean, crisp look of snow white paint on your walls. But since getting your puppy, it seems that every inch of wall that’s at nose- and tongue-height and down is an unflattering off-white.
Puppies happen, and unless you purchase a breed that doesn’t shed, hair happens, too. So what to do about it? You can buy throws for furniture, but that isn’t always a solution that works for everyone. If you aren’t willing to completely change your furniture and rugs, that’s okay. Be prepared to vacuum frequently, though, especially if you have your heart set on a puppy that color-clashes. If you’re willing to be a little flexible, sometimes finding furniture that will blend with your puppy, or vice-versa is the solution.
When it comes to walls, however, going with color is the easiest solution. Sometimes an off-white color works too, just don’t go for the bright white that will show every smudge or smear.
Regardless of how you choose to spend National Dog Day with your four-legged BFF, keeping everyone comfortable and safe in your home can be easily done.